St. Galien, I say!

I recently picked up A Mind of Its Own by David M. Friedman, “a cultural history of the penis”. In a chapter on discussing early views of semen and masturbation, I ran across a fascinating story related to doctors attacking genitals in unpleasant various ways in order to curb “self-pollution” —

These doctors were certain they were saving their patients from themselves. Unrestrained, boys were likely to re-create the terrifying example of a French shepherd named Gabriel Galien, whose case was described in 1792 by the surgeon François Chopart. According to Chopart, Galien became a compulsive masturbator at age fifteen. Over time, however, normal stimulation was insufficient for climax, and Galien began to tickle his urethral canal with a long wooden splinter. His occupation allowed him the solitude and free time to perfect that methodology. But eventually Galien became inured to this new technique as well. So he used a knife to make a long slit on the underside of his penis, attempting to enlarge his urethral passage. This (at first) shallow incision, Chopart wrote,

which in any other man would have produced the sharpest pain, instead procured for [Galien] an agreeable sensation and complete ejaculation …. Finally, given all the effort of his passions, he managed, after a thousand instances, to slice his penis into two equal parts.

Emphasis added by me — I’m going to guess that 1792 is the first medically documented case of subincision and genital bisection in the West (and perhaps also a very early reference to sounding I suppose). Anyway, this headsplit below is on my old friend Hornet (check out his bonus gallery in BME/HARD for lots of great play pictures as well if you’re into it).

Unrelated point of trivia: Chopart’s technique for mid-foot ampuation is still occasionally in use today — you have to admit “Chopart” is a pretty awesome name for a dude that invented a kind of ampuation!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

15 thoughts on “St. Galien, I say!

  1. Wow that was incredibly interesting.. I’m going to have to look for this book. Sounds like it should be a good one!

  2. I was all tempted to buy this, but then I saw this review on Amazon:

    “The first page I opened this book at contained an incredible howler. “By…1275, the penis had virtually disappeared from Western art for eight hundred years.”

    This is completely false, because hundreds of Romanesque churches (in France, Spain and England) have penises, ithyphallic males, megaphallic males and even masturbating males plain to see upon them (see the website to check this out). So this book lacks basic scholarship, for a start.

    It also lacks focus, is given to mere anecdote, and has pathetic pictures. Like many penises, it does not live up to its promise. I shall donate my copy to the local library. “

  3. well i guess you really do learn someting new everyday… some days are just more intresting then others hahah

  4. Matt– It did feel to me that the writer had some rather massive holes in their knowledge (certainly they had only minimal awareness of modern genital modification and play), almost as if ALL of their research was in the book. That said, I found it highly enjoyable.

  5. I read that book a few months ago, I really enjoyed it. Now I need to read a book about vaginas to balance it out.

  6. “By…1275, the penis had virtually disappeared from Western art for eight hundred years.”

    Following constructions and statues were following this rule I think. Remember that in the 17th and 18th we were covering piano legs because they were legs, and thus obscene.

  7. I believe in earlier times the men had an more naturally relation to their bodie, to take a bath or swim together naked wasn’t unusually. And the penis splitting of the peoples in south east asea has its reason in contraception: by subincision or complete splitting of the penis the men had the onest shure and easy kind of the contraception by stearing the smen flow in or outside of the vagina. Thats my experience after duing the procedure.

  8. i honestly hope that this guys dick never stops bleeding. why would you ruin a perfectly good cock like that.

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